Dinner Party: A Tragedy by Sarah Gilmartin

An intimate look at a complex family dealing with grief!

I was kindly gifted a copy of the book from Pushkin Press in exchange for an honest review and to take part in the blog tour.

Dinner Party: A Tragedy by Sarah Gilmartin
272 Pages
Out Now

Kate has taught herself to be careful, to be meticulous.

To mark the anniversary of a death in the family, she plans a dinner party – from the fancy table settings to the perfect Baked Alaska waiting in the freezer. Yet by the end of the night, old tensions have flared, the guests have fled, and Kate is spinning out of control.

But all we have is ourselves, her father once said, all we have is family.

As the past catches up with the present, Kate learns why, despite everything, we can’t help returning home.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Dinner Party is a beautifully written story that will tug at the heart strings as you delve into Kate’s life and the family that surround her both in the past and now the present.

The book is broken down into dates rather than chapters, where we the reader are transported back to different years in Kate’s life as we learn just what happened to a family member and the difficulties not just Kate faced but the whole family too. I’ll admit the first section did take me a while to get into but once it went back to the past I was fully engrossed and was desperate to find out more.

The author explores some tough subjects such as eating disorders and the loss of a family member and does so in a believable way. Kate and her family are dysfunctional, even before they lose someone, but once this happens you can see the cracks show even more and just how Kate struggles to handle it all even years after.

There were some great family moments in this that reminded me of my own brothers and parents at times, especially the arguments that would then turn into fits of laughter.

Overall this book explores the intricacies and dynamics of family life when suffering a terrible loss.

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